Hollywood to Regina Laudis

Wonderful story in the Telegraph

As a young starlet in 1960s Hollywood, Dolores Hart had it all. Billed as “the next Grace Kelly” for her beauty and acting talent, she had a seven-figure studio contract, roles opposite some of the industry’s biggest names and was the envy of girls everywhere for giving Elvis Presley his first on-screen kiss.

She acted alongside legends of the silver screen including Anthony Quinn, Robert Wagner and Montgomery Clift and was the top-billed star of MGM’s highest grossing film of 1962, Where the Boys Are.

She had partied at the Oscars, won the adulation of millions, fallen in love and had her wedding dress – made by a top designer – at the ready.

Then during a break from promoting her latest film in 1963, aged 24, she told her bosses at MGM Studios that she was heading to see friends in the country. They sent a limousine to drop her off at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut. It turned out to be a one-way journey.

Next Sunday, nearly half a century after she gave up a life of fame, glamour and wealth to become a cloistered Benedictine nun, Mother Dolores Hart – now aged 73 and the abbey’s prioress – will return to Hollywood to soak up the thrill of celebrity one more time.

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Update: Maureen Dowd covers the same topic (snarkiness warning)